Sunday, February 28, 2021
World

90-year-old gets first COVID-19 vaccine in UK

Margaret Keena
Margaret Keenan, 90, becomes the first patient in the UK to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry. (Bloomberg)

What’s next for Pfizer?

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 8: American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in collaboration with German biotechnology company BioNTech carried out the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination on a 90-year-old British individual, Margaret Keena, on Tuesday.
The vaccine, called BNT162b2, is based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which makes use of a chemical messenger to instruct cells into making proteins that mimic the outer surface of the novel Coronavirus, thereby rendering immunity against it. Messenger RNA banks on synthetic genes that can be generated and manufactured rapidly in weeks, and produced at scales much faster than conventional vaccines.
After the UK rolled out plans for emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine, the pharma giant applied for similar approvals elsewhere in the world. Mentioned below are the main details on the vaccine’s progress and current status in various nations.

  1. India is accelerating its review process for 3 vaccines produced by 3 pharmaceutical firms ~ Pfizer, Serum Institute of India (SII), and Bharat Biotech. Pfizer was the first one to submit a request for approval to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), followed by SII and Bharat Biotech. A panel of experts is scheduled to review the findings and come out with the result as early as December 9.
  2. Pfizer and BioNTech have sought clearance from the European Union for emergency use. The European Medical Agency (EMA) announced on December 1 that it has scheduled a meeting for assessment on December 29, after it’s done with its review process. If the EMA decides that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks, then Pfizer will be given conditional approval for rolling out vaccines.
  3. Pfizer had also applied for emergency use clearance with the US Government. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on December 10 to review Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. It had earlier in July granted ‘fast track’ status to the vaccine.
  4. Pfizer has initiated procedures for emergency authorization in Canada. Canadian authorities were holding talks and on December 8 they announced plans for starting vaccination drives before the end of this month. Canada is all set to receive 6-million doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of March. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in a press conference that vaccinations could start as early as next week, as some 249,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada in December.
    (Courtesy: HT)
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